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This weekend, while taking in Stone Brewing Co.’s annual ode to rare wood-aged brews, Oakquinox, I ran into a well-known figure in San Diego beer enthusiast circles. Her name is Vicki Davis and her visibility in the local scene has come via her association with AleSmith Brewing Company, and status as an integral member of the San Diego Beer Club.

Recently, Davis took on a new project, helping to establish the San Diego Homebrewers Alliance. This newly formed organization represents a synergistic coming together of numerous San Diego County-based homebrew clubs: Barley Engineers, Foam on the Brain, Mash Heads, North County Homebrewers Association, QUAFF, and the Society of Barley Literates.

Among the Alliance’s objectives is to help rookies who are interested in learning how to brew to get into the club that’s the best fit for them, both ideologically and geographically, further helping to ensure San Diego maintains its reputation as an upper echelon homebrewing community for years to come.

The high caliber of the county’s homebrewers was proven at last year’s National Homebrewers Conference (NHC), which was held in America’s Finest City. Local homebrewers brought home medals in seven of twenty-eight categories, and North County standout, Paul Sangster (who is working with partner Guy Shobe to open Rip Current Brewing in San Marcos), took top honors as the country’s best homebrewer for 2011.

Put on by the American Homebrewers Association, the NHC is a huge deal for homebrewers, but it is held in a different city each year. In an effort to create a regular opportunity for San Diego’s ale-enamored to gather and feed like yeast off each others’ enthusiasm, share techniques, and learn how to improve; the Alliance will spend the next year trying to set up a local, annual homebrewing conference. Projected to be more of a one-day affair, it will be scheduled to take place in San Diego each year and occur around the same time of the year as NHC.

For more information on the San Diego Homebrewers Alliance, visit their Facebook page.

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